RECENT announcements by Renamo the rebel movement turned political party in Mozambique should not be dismissed as yet another political gimmick by yet another bunch of failed and frustrated bloodthirsty African politicians.
There is so much at stake if SADC states are to rest on their laurels and wait for the violent Renamo renegades to cause instability that will not only affect Mozambique, but most likely spill over into Zimbabwe, South Africa and even beyond.
Even before the currently shaky 1992 UN-supervised peace accord Renamo was responsible for at least 101 attacks near the Mozambique/Zimbabwe border.
SADC states should not allow any disgruntled failed politicians to undo the recent economic gains that have resulted in genuine direct foreign investment, job creation, massive infrastructure development and economic empowerment in that country.
SADC as a regional grouping has the mandate to foster regional solidarity and peace, and maintain political stability among member states including Mozambique.
Simply put, if the misguided renegades led by one Afonso Dhlakama are allowed to cause instability in Mozambique, their irresponsible actions could potentially destabilise the entire SADC region and scare away tourists and investors as well.
The compound effects of Dhlakama’s irresponsible war-like behaviour are too ghastly to contemplate and SADC states should rein in this character. Already Dhlakama and his bunch of bloodthirsty, blind followers have caused untold suffering if recent rebel events in Mozambique are anything to go by. From April to date, Renamo have attacked buses, trucks and police stations in Mozambique.
The African continent has in recent decades enjoyed relative stability after decades of political instability fomented by external forces, mainly nuclear-armed states that used African countries to test war strategies and the efficacy of their new weapons.
The war that broke out between the left-leaning MPLA, supported by socialist states, and the right-leaning Unita, supported by the apartheid regime in South Africa and the USA, is one among the numerous proxy wars fought on the African continent.
Renamo was conceived by a gang of ideologically misguided Mozambicans with funding from the minority-led Rhodesian government that apparently felt slighted by the fact the new Mozambique government supported liberation movements against the minority regimes in the then Rhodesia and South Africa.
The liberation movement Swapo fought tooth and nail against the South African army mostly in southern Angola where the MPLA was also caught up in a bitter war or attrition against the South African-supported Unita rebel movement.
The Angolan civil war, essentially a power struggle between the MPLA and Unita, erupted shortly after Angola’s independence from Portugal in 1975. But the main feature of this battle was that it also served as a surrogate battleground for the Cold War.
There was large-scale direct and indirect international involvement by opposing powers such as the Soviet Union, Cuba, South Africa and the United States.
Until 1993, South Africa also had its own blend of urban warfare and riots as the ANC aligned black South Africans revolted against the injustices wrought about by the widely condemned backward apartheid, racist minority regime.
The previous scenario where there was instability in the entire Southern Africa and the entire Africa was synonymous with instability and should not be allowed. Africa should not again degenerate into a state of war and misery.
Therefore the recent acts of belligerence by Renamo should be condemned and if the need arises SADC states should send out a strong message to Renamo, an organisation bent on causing suffering among our Mozambican brothers and sisters.
By The Editor